Sultanate of Showa


The Sultanate of Showa (Sultanate of Shewa) also known as Makhzumi Dynasty was a Muslim kingdom situated in the territory of present-day Ethiopia. It was situated in the vicinity of the town of Walale. Its location was in northern Hararghe in Harla territory. The port of Zeila may have influenced the kingdom. The rise of the Makhzumi state at the same time resulted in the decline of the Kingdom of Axum. Several engravings dating back to the 13th century showing the presence of the kingdom are found in Chelenqo, Bate, Harla near Dire Dawa and Munessa near Lake Langano.
Shewa Sultanate, established in 896, is the first Muslim state inland and according to the chronicle of the sultanate no major report of conversion to Islam was reported before the beginning of the 12th century. However, beginning with the conversion of the Gbbh people in 1108, whom Trimingham suggested them being the ancestors of Argobbas, other people were converted. By mid fourteenth century Islam expanded in the region and the inhabitants leaving north of Awash river were the Muslim people of Zaber and Midra Zega (located south of modern Merhabete); the Gabal (or Warjeh people today called Tigri Worji); and Tegulat & Menz people whom at that time were Muslims. The chronicle of Shewa sultanate also mentions that in 1128 the Amhara fled from the land of Werjih people whom at that time were pastoralist people and lived in the Awash valley east of Shoan plateau.
Ifat or Yifat, established in early medieval times, was the easternmost district of Shewa Sultanate and was located in the strategic position between the central highlands and the Sea, especially the port of Zeila. In 1285 Ifat's ruler Wali Asma deposed Shewan kings and established the Walasma dynasty and Shewa with its districts including its centers, Walalah and Tegulat, became one of the seven districts of Ifat sultanate. Tegulat, previously the capital of Shewa Sultanate, is situated on a mountain 24 km north of Debre Berhan, located in today's North Shewa Zone (Amhara), and was known by Muslims as mar'ade which later became the seat of emperor Amda Tsion. The chronicle of Amde Sion mentions Khat being widely consumed by Muslims in the city of Marade.
Based on Cerulli's study of the names of the princes J. D. Fage and Roland Oliver were convinced that the inhabitants of Shewa spoke Ethiopian Semitic language likely Argobba language. After Shewa was incorporated into Ifat an Egyptian courtier, Al Umari, would describe Ifat Sultanate as one of the largest as well as the richest of Ethiopias Muslim provinces, and Shewa, Adal, Jamma, Lao and Shimi are places incorporated into Ifat.